Authorities have refused to approve a rally in downtown Moscow in support of three teenage sisters accused of murdering their abusive father, charges that have sparked calls to address Russia’s domestic abuse problem.
In 2017, lawmakers decriminalised domestic violence unless it leads to broken bones or occurs more than once a year.
Alexei Parshin, lawyer for one of the Khachaturyan sisters, argued that the girls acted in self defence after their father frequently threatened to kill them.
But self defence arguments can be fraught here. In the Zabaikalye region on Friday, a woman with prosthetic legs was sentenced to 18 months in prison for stabbing her drunken husband to death when he continued to attack her after two police visits. The court ruled she had used excessive force in defending herself.
Police had originally charged Courtney Irby, 32, with armed burglary and grand theft after she took her husband’s guns from his home and gave them to police. She spent six days in jail on the charges.
The couple was divorcing, and Ms. Irby had obtained a temporary injunction against her husband, Joseph Irby, 35.
NPR’s Sasha Ingber reported that Ms. Irby’s family says she “took the weapons to police out of fear for her and her children’s safety
A widely supported free service that helps women navigate the complex and draining family court system is forced to beg for money to stay afloat after the NSW Government refuses to extend funding.
The Alice Springs Women’s Shelter reported an “astonishing” 500 more women and children had sought its help this year compared to last year.
Its chief executive Di Gipey said that was despite government and police statistics showing a drop in alcohol and domestic violence-related assaults and alcohol-related presentations at the hospital’s emergency department.
She said police referrals to the centre were also up by 110 since October, “which is quite a lot”.
“So they’ve arrested less people, but referred more people into our service,” Ms Gipey said.
She called on the Territory Government to look at the shelter’s data and work with them before declaring alcohol policies a success.
We know that police analysis of Setka’s phone activity reveals he called a woman 25 times on one night and sent her 45 text messages, calling her everything from a “treacherous Aussie f—en c—”, a “f—en dog” to a “weak f—en piece of shit”.
But there is other terrible correspondence. Of the 45 text messages, around half were photographs, some of which obliterated the woman’s face, others which showed her property being discarded.
Online abuse is still abuse. And maybe the case of John Setka will be a moment for the legal system to understand its extent and impact.
Chief justice says in televised speech that abuse survivors will be able to ‘speak their heart without any fear’
In this extract from her book, See What You Made Me Do, Jess Hill traces the psychology of abusers and how they use the same techniques of oppression
Domestic abuse may be as old as intimacy, but we only really started to understand it after the first women’s refuges opened in the 1970s. When women in their thousands fled to these makeshift shelters, they weren’t just complaining about black eyes and raging tempers. They told stories of unfathomable cruelty and violence, and what sounded like orchestrated campaigns of control. It became clear that, although each woman’s story was individual, the overarching narratives were uncannily alike. As one shelter worker said at the time, “It got so I could finish a woman’s story halfway through it. There was this absolutely eerie feeling that these guys were sitting together and deciding what to say and do.”
Today, we know that that the techniques common to domestic abuse match those used by practically anyone who trades in captivity: kidnappers, hostage-takers, pimps, cult leaders. What this reveals is that there is nothing uniquely weak, helpless or masochistic about victims of domestic abuse. Faced with the universal methods of coercive control, their responses are no different from those of trained soldiers.
We keep asking, ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ But for Jess Hill, who spent four years investigating domestic violence, the more confounding question is, ‘Why does he stay?’